Patent Number: 6,309,520

Title: Methods and apparatus for processing the surface of a microelectronic workpiece

Abstract: A reactor for plating a metal onto a surface of a workpiece is set forth. The reactor comprises a reactor bowl including an electroplating solution disposed therein and an anode disposed in the reactor bowl in contact with the electroplating solution. A contact assembly is spaced from the anode within the reactor bowl. The contact assembly includes a plurality of contacts disposed to contact a peripheral edge of the surface of the workpiece to provide electroplating power to the surface of the workpiece. The contacts execute a wiping action against the surface of the workpiece as the workpiece is brought into engagement therewith The contact assembly also including a barrier disposed interior of the plurality of contacts. The barrier includes a member disposed to engage the surface of the workpiece to assist in isolating the plurality of contacts from the electroplating solution. In one embodiment, the plurality of contacts are in the form of discrete flexures while in another embodiment the plurality of contacts are in the form of a Belleville ring contact. A flow path may be provided in the contact assembly for providing a purging gas to the plurality of contacts and the peripheral edge of the workpiece. The purging gas may be used to assist in the formation of the barrier of the contact assembly. A combined electroplating/electroless plating tool and method are also set forth.

Inventors: Woodruff; Daniel J. (Kalispell, MT), Hanson; Kyle M. (Kalispell, MT), Oberlitner; Thomas H. (Kalispell, MT), Chen; LinLin (Kalispell, MT), Pedersen; John M. (Kalispell, MT), Zila; Vladimir (Scarborough, CA)

Assignee: Semitool, Inc.

International Classification: C25D 7/12 (20060101); C25D 017/00 (); C25D 017/10 (); C25B 011/00 (); C25B 009/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018